T G TIMES
24/04/2020 5th edition
WITH TIME ON OUR HANDS
FAMILY MEMORY “This really is a gem Frances”
LOCKDOWN THEN AND NOW
I celebrated my 80th birthday on 12th April 2020, and as always on that day, I felt very close to my mother.
So, 12th April 1940, she was admitted to a ‘maternity home’ some distance from her home in North London. My father was a Metropolitan Policeman and, as always, was “on duty” when anything significant happened within the family. 12th April 1940 … the German Army was lined up across the Channel, facing Dover and “on the alert” to invade … they really were. There was panic on the wards and the whole country was on full alert. Poor mum gave birth whilst having a full blown asthma attack but survived, (as you do!), and came home to an empty flat. A kind neighbour came in every day to bath baby and give loving support. The asthma subsided.
A couple of months later, the family moved into a two bedroom Victorian terraced house, with small garden – bliss.
Move on to September 1940:
The London bombing started (the blitz). Dad was away every night and the only safe place was under the stairs (you have seen pictures of bomb sites where the only things left standing were the stairs). So, night after night mother and baby crawled into their “safe place” on their own. Look under your stairs, girls, and imagine……
Yes, mum knew about ‘lockdown’ and being on your own.
A happy ending:
Sometime later she and I were evacuated to Denham in Buckinghamshire to be with my grandparents. It was glorious countryside, no shelters, no asthma, and plenty of fresh food from Granddad’s garden.
How I would love to have “mum” here now in “lockdown”; she’d call it ‘a breeze’……
Thank you Frances for sharing this precious memory and Belated Birthday Greetings from everyone in the Tuesday Group
ANOTHER GUESS WHO?
Her name of Christmas foretells,
But that’s not the true art of her spells.
Grown men on their knees will beg
For her touch with a humble quail’s egg
While their wives stand and linger
To admire her fish finger
And inhale all her gastronome smells.
She transforms the plain waffle,
Does tricks with pig’s offal
And her quiches win prizes at fêtes.
Yet her greatest of gifts
Is the spirits she lifts
With the food that she puts on our plates.
Thankyou POET ANON
Hazel has been busy again! A Rainbow of Hope For all of us Thankyou
TG Times Celebrity of the Week
Meet GAY POCOCK
How long have you been a member of the Tuesday
I think I joined in the 1980’s but then it was
called The Wives Group
Where did you spend your childhood?
We moved to Bridgwater in about 1946 where
my stepfather was a G.P. When he became a surgeon, we moved to Nether Stowey where I lived until I married.
Have you a memory from this time that stands out from the others or a special person that influenced the subsequent path your life took?
I cannot think of one particular memory. I loved Nether Stowey, we lived in a big house next door to the Church and life was happy there.
Briefly can you describe your path through life from leaving school until now?
After leaving school I went for a year to a Domestic Science College near Lyme Regis I then found a job cooking in a boy’s prep school, however not for long as I was 20 when I got married!
You are a lady who likes to be ‘on the go’ have you hobbies and activities which you enjoy?
My hobby was riding, also, going to point to points where Clarence rode and later on daughter Lynne also, I loved it, but it could be very nerve-racking! Now I am content to do the garden and socialize!
If you were offered the chance to do absolutely anything, money no object and at no cost to you. What would you choose to do?
I would of course donate to charity otherwise I would buy a racehorse and win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.!!!
A little peep into Gay’s life has been most interesting, thank you so much for sharing it with us.
I need some more celebrity’s, please don’t be shy’ let me know if you would like to join in and help keep T G News interesting.
MADE WITH LOVE FOR LUCKY NEIGHBOURS FROM SANTA
Thank you, Santa.
Sundried Tomato Seeded Bread
Things to get:
250g/9oz self-raising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
4 large eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp. wine
2 tbsp sun- dried tomato paste
150g/ 5oz grated cheddar or gruyere cheese
75g/3oz mixed seeds
8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped small
2 tsp. chopped mixed herbs ( I always add basil to mine)
Salt and pepper
How it is done:
Pre heat oven 180 fan. 200 normal
Put Flour, baking powder, seeds, salt and pepper into a large bowl.
Mix eggs, olive oil, sun- dried paste, wine, herbs and sun- dried tomatoes, add to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Finally add most of the cheese ( save a little to sprinkle on top, mix well in, it should be a sticky dough.
Put the mixture into a greased and lined 1lb loaf tin, bake for 30 mins, reduce heat to 150 fan 170 normal oven and bake for a further 20 minutes, remove from oven turn out, it should sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Leave to cool on a wire rack or turn it on its side.
Cooks Tip: Lovely with some soup or some cheese and pickles!
TASTY NIBBLES Contributed by our Irish friend, hence no quantities or temperatures! Though can vouch that they are delicious.
Put cashews into bowl. Add enough soya sauce to lightly cover and stir well.
For an extra kick add a little chilli.
Spread nuts on a baking tray and roast until brown and crisp.
Remove from oven and leave to cool.
Pour a large gin and tonic and scoff the lot. Thanks Aideen
CARRY ON NURSING – MEMORIES
with GINNY FARNSWORTH SMITH
There is currently much media coverage of the NHS for obvious reasons, but this motivated me to reflect on my time spent nursing in Birmingham, particularly on the frontline. I know nursing practise has progressed in many ways, but it was the lighter side of my experiences which I started to recall.
In the early days as a student nurse (yes, I can go back that far!) it is isolated instances that ping into my memory. The third allocation of my training programme was experience on the paediatric ward where children aged 3 months to 5 years were admitted for care. However, the challenge on this occasion was to bathe a 6 month old baby, on my own, trying to hold him safely and maintain control of this lively infant. OK, I know you Mums find it second nature but when you are 19 years old it is a different matter – soap suds were flying everywhere !!
As a student I would cringe with embarrassment whilst working on a male surgical/orthopaedic ward, and the young boys would shout down the (Nightingale) ward, “Smith, I need a bottle” !!!! They had arrived on the ward following motor cycle accidents and suffered fractures of the limbs, hence they were entrapped for a few weeks before mobilisation with physio. They were quite cheeky but fun!
Of course, you would be a little wary of some of the Housemen (junior doctors) when preparing sterile treatments in the “dressing station” in case they had other than professional thoughts. In today’s society that couldn’t happen !!!! Could it !?
I guess as the years progressed, my skills and experience became more established, so did the confidence to side-track and join in the occasional prank, particularly as a Night Sister, when the hospital was quiet. It was common practise that when one of our peers was leaving, the staff on-call, surgical, medical, anaesthetic registrars and sisters would gather and prepare a bath of cold water so that at the least unexpected moment the unsuspecting victim was perfectly plunged. A good send-off was very necessary!!! In addition, whilst the “victim” was removing her wet attire, the “boys” stole her green uniform dress. Following this particular morning at the handover from night staff to the day nurse managers, which often included Matron, she opened the reporting session with “Do I see a Sister’s green uniform dress assailing the flag pole on top of the hospital building”. I don’t know how we got out of that one !!
The other great relaxing moment at the hospital was the Hospital Christmas Show! Staff from all specialist departments would contribute to songs, sketches and recitals. There was always a spoof on a specific department which involved the Professor of the Unit, Consultants, Senior Nurses. They were easily recognisable in the lyrics of a ditty or scene, but they enjoyed the characterisation of their individual personalities. I remember the song “Oom pah pah” (Oliver) with great affection, which was adapted to refer to these individuals. We thought it prudent to ensure we were never late for duty the next day, during the week of the show.
There will always be lighter moments at appropriate times to uplift the situation, but this does not diminish the dedication of the nursing profession. Never for a moment have I regretted becoming a nurse and a subsequent career in management of healthcare.
Thank you, Ginny, a fascinating insight into the ‘lighter side’ of a young nurse’s career.
Were any of you teachers in your younger years? Now don’t say you have no stories to tell. We want to hear them please.
A MAMMOTH TASK
John and I are frequently passing by and under, the railway line behind Langport’s Tesco, as we do our ‘daily exercise’. Whilst we marvel at all mother nature gives us in springtime, we find the enormity of the construction work, going on to stabilise the railway banks and total refurbish of the river railway bridge, totally mind blowing.
For those who have not been to have a look I thought these photos might give you a little insight into the magnitude of the work which may be completed by Christmas this year.
For everyone living in Langport the noise and dust is not easy to live with, especially in this time of lock down when being in your own garden is not a peaceful experience. We are thankful we are just far enough away for it not to be too disruptive to our lives, but saying that, as I type this, with windows and doors closed, (quite close to Shires Garage), I can her the banging of the piles being driven into the earth. A monotonous bang, bang, bang which you wonder if it is ever going to stop. So, if all you can hear from your garden is birds singing and a little traffic noise, be thankful.
Looking on the bright side, this work should still be holding good in 100 years’ time, apparently.
Follow on down for three pictures, kept them big for you to see them a little clearer.
Meanwhile the trains are still running.
To end edition 5
A huge thank you, to all contributors this week, and to those who have sent me their photos as requested.
All of us have got memories and interesting stories of life events, please do not be shy about sharing them with us. I would much rather you were willing contributors than cajoled.
If you are enjoying T G Times and want it to continue then help me fill the pages, I do not want to stop doing it, I am loving it.
If technology is a bit overwhelming you can always ring me with your ‘piece’. 01458 253948
Keep safe, keep well until next week. Jean